§ 7. Mr. Janner
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that the fees for a licence to fish for freshwater fish with a single rod and line have been raised from 2s., charged by the Nene and Welland Fishery Board, to 8s., charged by the Nene River Board and the Welland River Board; that the anglers of 1746 Leicester, who are mainly working men, are disturbed by this increase, and that the increase in unwarranted; and whether he will take steps to prevent the increased charge from being imposed.
§ Sir T. Dugdale
From 1st January next an angler who fishes for freshwater fish in the area of the Nene River Board will pay the Board 5s. in licence duty; an angler similarly fishing in the area of the Welland River Board will pay the Welland Board 2s. The two licences to cover the whole of the former Nene and Welland Fishery District will cost 7s. in all.
I have approved the new rate of duty recently determined by the Nene River Board, because I am satisfied that it is necessary to enable the Board to maintain an adequate standard of supervision and development of the fisheries.
§ Mr. Janner
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that hitherto the total fee has been 2s. and that the anglers of Leicester look upon the action as disgraceful and one of wholesale profit-making? Is he also aware that I have received information from the secretary of one of the angling clubs in Leicester who states that he has been compelled to cancel venues in that area for 1953 in consequence of the exorbitant charge? Will the right hon. Gentleman ensure that the working people in that district have an opportunity to carry on legitimate pursuits of this nature without being hindered by such exorbitant charges?
§ Sir T. Dugdale
I should like to inform the House that the old fishery board was making a loss during the last three years, and that if it had continued it would have had to increase the licence fee. I should also like to assure the House that the extra charge is solely for restocking and improvement of fisheries and is not due to expenditure on other River Board activities.